Do you want to help your kids or grandkids pay for college when it's time for them to go? Or do you already have a Sallie Mae student loan that you'd love to get help paying for? Then, UPromise is perfect for you! It's a free program where you earn money for college just by doing the things that you are already doing – like buying groceries and toiletries, buying/selling a house, shopping online, etc.
As a SAHM of 2 children, I find it difficult to find the money to save for my boy's college (although I do also save on my own). I discovered the UPromise program about 8 years ago, and have earned $1,458 so far. I haven't done it all on my own, since you can invite friends and family to help you out. Both my parents and my in-laws also use UPromise to help send my boys to college. As you earn money, it is held in your UPromise account. Each quarter, your money will get transferred into your Upromise 529 account (you have to open that separately).
There are many ways to build up your earnings. How does it work?
- Shopping Online – when you shop online, simply go to UPromise's website first (or install the Upromise toolbar for Internet Explorer, and it will tell you when you are shopping on a Upromise website). You can search for either an item that you plan on purchasing or the store. Click through the link, and when you make a purchase the % earnings for that store will be deposited into your UPromise account.
- Ecoupons – Each month UPromise has some Ecoupons available that you can load onto your grocery/drug store loyalty card (I have CVS, Kroger, and Meijer). When you purchase that item, the amount of the coupon is automatically added to your college earnings without you having to clip any coupons (you do have to use your loyalty card at check-out).
- Grocery/Drug Store Savings – UPromise has several partners where you can get additional earnings when you shop at the grocery/drug store. For example, you get 3% back when you purchase Nestle products, 2% for Beech-Nut baby foods, 2% for Listerine, etc.
- Gas – When you purchase gas from Exxon/Mobil gas stations, you get a penny per gallon. You need to make sure that your credit card is registered on the UPromise site to get the rewards. Or, you can use a linked Speedpass.
- Upromise Credit Card – we signed up for the Upromise credit card and use it for practically every purchase we make (we get 1% of our purchases in UPromise earnings). We ALWAYS pay our balance in full each month, and it works for us, because we still have a budget that we adhere to. I keep careful track throughout the month of how much we've spent in each budget category through Microsoft Money. Having a credit card does not work for everyone, though.
- Other services – Get insurance quotes and save $5 through Liberty Mutual or $2 through Insurance.com. If you buy or sell your house through a Upromise-affiliated agent you earn a percentage of the home sale price. You can get a mortgage through Chase or Quicken Loans and earn 0.25% of your loan.
There are many additional ways to earn through UPromise. Check out their site for other ideas. Earning for college through UPromise works for me. It helps my family to save for my boys' future just by shopping, getting gas and other things that we have to do anyway. For more ideas that work for others, visit Rocks in My Dryer.
How do you save for college? Do you already use Upromise? If so, what are some of the best ways that you have found to save?